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Tabuu screenshot.png
Tabuu's appearance in Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Series Super Smash Bros.
First appearance Super Smash Bros. Brawl (2008)
In-universe information
Species Unknown
Super Smash Bros. appearances

Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (cameo)

Tabuu is the final boss of The Subspace Emissary in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. He has a transparent humanoid figure, with a pair of red eyes and a strange object inside of him. He is the "embodiment of Subspace"[1] and created the Subspace Army. His name is a corruption of the word "taboo", which means unacceptable or improper by society's terms. The spelling of his name is derived from a katakana transcription of the word, romanized for English language releases.


Super Smash Bros. Brawl

Tabuu's entrance

Tabuu is the embodiment of Subspace. Observing the World of Trophies, he has the desire to cut the world into pieces and bring it into Subspace. However, because he cannot leave Subspace, he is forced to form an army in order to do this. After studying the world and its inhabitants, Tabuu takes control of Master Hand, the master of the world, and using Master Hand recruits Bowser, Wario, and Ganondorf. He also notes the peculiar structure of Mr. Game & Watch, and uses him to create Shadow Bugs, which form the soldiers for the Subspace Army.

Tabuu also takes notice of Meta Knight's ship, the Halberd, to use as transportation for his army, and is successfully able to attack and capture the ship. In addition, he learns of the advanced technology on the Isle of Ancients and conquers the island, using the Robots to build weapons such as Subspace Bombs in order to take parts of the world into Subspace, the Master Robot joining him in the process, turning into the Ancient Minister, serving as a deployer for the immensely powerful Subspace Bombs.[1]

The game has two trophies of Tabuu. The standard one is earned by use of a Trophy Stand. The Tabuu (Wings) trophy is earned by clearing Boss Battles with every playable character.

The Subspace Emissary

After suffering a humiliating defeat, Ganondorf and Bowser enter Subspace to seek out Master Hand. Planning to take control of the army, Ganondorf betrays Bowser before approaching Master Hand and bowing before him. Just as Ganondorf prepares to attack Master Hand, Tabuu reveals himself. Ganondorf tries to free Master Hand by attacking Tabuu, but he easily overpowers Ganondorf, turning him into a trophy with a single attack. Ganondorf falls on Master Hand with enough force to sever Tabuu's strings of light, freeing Master Hand. The weakened Master Hand attempts to destroy Tabuu, but Tabuu easily reflects his attack, stunning Master Hand.

The heroes later arrive and confront Tabuu, who spreads his wings and releases his ultimate attack, the Off Waves, instantly transforming every fighter to their trophy form. He then puts the pieces of the world taken from the World of Trophies to create The Great Maze. However, Luigi, King Dedede, and Ness return back to their original states thanks to the brooches Dedede had invented. The three travel to Subspace and return the heroes to their original forms.

After making their way through the Great Maze, the heroes arrive at Tabuu's lair for the final showdown. Tabuu prepares to use his Off Waves again, but Sonic the Hedgehog appears and attacks Tabuu, shattering his wings and preventing him from transforming the group into trophies. The heroes then face Tabuu in the final battle. After he is defeated, all the pieces of the world taken into subspace and all the characters are returned to their proper locations.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Tabuu appears as a Legend-class Neutral-type primary spirit in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, with new artwork. It has three support slots and can be used on Ness or Lucas to increase their PSI attacks; any fighter can otherwise be equipped with the spirit to increase their power, being among the most powerful spirits in the game. The spirit can be encountered on the Mysterious Dimension sub-world of the Dark Realm in World of Light. Its puppet fighter is a Metal Bayonetta fought on the Final Destination stage.


Tabuu using his Off Waves attack

Tabuu's moveset is very similar to Marx's moveset from Kirby Super Star.

  • Off Waves: During this attack, Tabuu appears in the background and opens up his wings which proceeds to release three red shock waves. These shock waves deal very high damage and knockback, enough to one-hit KO on normal and higher difficulties in SSE and on very hard and intense difficulties of Boss Battles. To avoid the shock waves, a character must either roll or sidestep dodge with accurate timing. If playing as Pokémon Trainer, Kirby, or Zelda/Sheik, using Down B the instant Tabuu extends his wings also works. The player can also Perfect Shield, despite the fact that the attack is unblockable. The effects of a Metal Box will help resist this attack, in which case, the character is only slightly pushed.
  • Dark Cannon: Tabuu appears on one side of the stage and takes out a large, dragon-shaped cannon, which fires a powerful laser that can only be dodged with a jump.
  • Side Spear: Tabuu transforms into a wide spear and attacks sideways with one swipe.
  • Chain of Light: Tabuu takes out a gold chain, grabs the character, swings them around and slams them onto the ground for high knockback. This move uses the same type of chain that he used on Master Hand.
  • Eye Lasers: Tabuu transforms into a giant version of himself and appears on either the left or right side of the stage, before unleashing red lasers from both his eyes. They mostly work the same way as Master Hand's lasers, including leaving their user vulnerable to attacks, but Tabuu's lasers are significantly more powerful, and are different in that they only take effect at the point of contact with the stage. They can be avoided by running to the edge of the stage where Tabuu is located.
  • Energy Blade: Tabuu appears in mid-air on one side of the stage and attacks the stage with a curved swipe of a red energy sword. It is avoided by jumping.
  • Teleport: Tabuu teleports around the area and appears at a set spawn position which is randomly decided from the large amount of spawn points available. He also sometimes teleports behind the character and attacks.
  • Teleport Explosion: Same as his normal teleportation move, but it creates a red explosion everywhere he teleports.
  • Electrical Shield: Tabuu teleports to a random area and releases energy from the object inside him to circle around him like a shield and attack.
  • Rapid Chop: Tabuu teleports behind the character and rapidly slashes the area near the character. The attack has less range than the visible shockwaves would indicate.
  • Golden Bracket: Tabuu transforms into two brackets and flies across the stage, grabbing the character (if he's not avoided) and slamming them onto the stage. On Intense difficulty, this attack is a one-hit KO.
  • Pinpoint Explosion: Tabuu points at five locations which will blink. Those locations will explode after a second, damaging anyone who did not move away in time.
  • Bullet Rain: Tabuu appears in a random area in the air and fires a series of small, magical bullets. Tabuu concludes this attack with a powerful energy blast, all of which is avoided by staying behind him.
  • Shuriken Boomerang: Tabuu appears on one side of the stage and throws a round boomerang which crosses the stage twice before he catches it. This is avoided by jumping and using Up-B (depending on character) to avoid the second swing.
  • Self Projection: Tabuu pauses in midair and sends out copies of himself in all directions. Characters will take damage if they make contact with a projection.

Profiles and statistics

Super Smash Bros. Brawl trophies

Name Image Game Description
Tabuu SSBB Trophy Tabuu.png Wii SSBB graphic.png Super Smash Bros. Brawl The ruler of Subspace and master of operations. Tabuu controls Master Hand with chains of light to excise this world and build up his great maze. He used Shadow Bugs to form Subspace and manipulates the servants of Master Hand to his heart's content. Born in a vastly foreign realm, he also possesses great leadership powers. Tabuu... No name is more suitable.
Tabuu (Wings) SSBB Trophy Tabuu (Wings).png Wii SSBB graphic.png Super Smash Bros. Brawl Tabuu with wings extended. The dreadful energy surges cast from these wings instantly turn all fighters back into trophies. Knowing this, King Dedede assembles all able-bodied troops and sets a timed device on each of them. This device is a brooch that, after the designated time runs out, revives all fighters wiped out by Tabuu.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate spirit

No. Name Image Series / game Type Class Strength / effect(s) How to obtain Spirit battle
Opponent(s) Battle conditions Stage Song
1100 SSBU Spirit Tabuu.png Super Smash Bros. Series Primary (3) Legend Neutral
PSI Attack ↑
World of Light (Mysterious Dimension);
Spirit Board
Metal Bayonetta Rule: Sudden Damage
  • Stamina battle
  • You'll occasionally take sudden damage after a little while
  • The enemy is metal
Final Destination Boss Battle Song 2


Names in other languages

Language Name Meaning
Japanese タブー
Chinese 禁忌
French Tabbou From tabou (taboo)
German Tabuh From Tabu (taboo)
Korean 타부